In a powerful romance hailed as “heartbreaking, real, and breathtakingly beautiful” by Stacey Lynn, New York Times bestselling author A. Meredith Walters tells the story of a troubled young woman and the unforgettable guy who teaches her to live—and love—to the fullest.
She’s waiting to die. . . . Corin Thompson is paralyzed by her obsession with mortality. Having lost both of her parents, she is terrified by the idea that she too will die young, and she loses control at any sign of illness. But when Corin connects with someone who has survived a very real brush with death, she begins to see the world in a whole new way.
He’s learning to live. . . . As Corin struggles under the weight of her neuroses, Beckett Kingsley is attempting to rebuild a life that feels all too temporary. With the ever-present threat of heart failure never far from his mind, he just wants to make the most of whatever time he has left. And that means pursuing the girl he never expected to find.
Together, Corin and Beckett finally learn to let go of their fears and take solace in everyday pleasures. Who knows what the future holds? After all, nothing lasts forever—the only promise they have is right now.
Advance praise for Butterfly Dreams
“All the feels: poignant, funny, sad, beautiful, and inspiring! Your own belly butterflies will take flight.”—New York Times bestselling author Katy Evans
“A. Meredith Walters is the author I turn to when I want to get sucked into a beautiful story that packs an emotional punch.”—New York Times bestselling author Sawyer Bennett
“Butterfly Dreams is one of the most poignant books I’ve read all year. It’s heartbreaking, real, and breathtakingly beautiful. A. Meredith Walters weaves a story that draws you in from the very first page and refuses to let you go even once it’s finished.”—Stacey Lynn, author of the Nordic Lords series
“The ending nearly killed me, but I survived. I read this book in one sitting, and what a roller coaster of a story. The author did an amazing job. . . . I found myself unable to put the book down.”—The Book Hookup
ARC kindly provided via NetGalley for the exchange of an honest review
Az írónő ismét jó érzékkel nyúlt hozzá egy olyan nem mindennapi témához, amely mentális betegséggel foglalkozik. Ezúttal a főszereplő lány hipochondriás, amely kifejezetten megdöbbentő volt számomra. Ez nem egy kis vicces betegség, amin mosolyogni lehet, ez egy komoly dolog, hiszen a beteg egyszerűen olyan szinten elhiszi, hogy valami baja van, hogy teljesen hiteles tüneteteket és pánikrohamokat produkál.
Így van ezzel Corin Thompson is, aki folyamatosan ki-be járkál az orvosi rendelőből, mindenféle teszteket csináltat, mert úgy érzi, hogy valami nagy baj van vele, és meg fog halni. Történetünk kezdetekor éppen szívfájdalmai vannak, és úgy érzi, szívrohama van. Aztán persze az eredmények ismét negatívan jönnek vissza, de meggyőződése, hogy neki valami baj van a szívével. Éppen ezért elmegy a Mended Hearts támogató csoportba, ahol szívproblémával rendelkező betegek gyűlnek össze minden héten. Itt ismerkedik meg Becket Kingsley-vel, aki bár csupán 28 éves, mégis egy korábban nem kimutatott genetikai szívbetegség miatt szívrohamot kapott, és néhány perce életét is vesztette. Azóta fel kellett adnia a korábbi életét, ami tele volt extrém túrákkal és sportolással. Amikor a csoportban összefutnak, egyből rájönnek, hogy már korábbról ismerik egymás, ugyanis egy alkalommal Beckett segített Corin-nak az egyik pánikrohamánál az utcán. Corin annyira szégyelli az esetet, hogy megpróbálja lerázni a srácot, persze sikertelenül, mert ekkorra Beckett már nem tudja kiverni a fejéből a lányt.
Corin egy különleges karakter. A hipochondriája egyértelműen szüleinek halálára vezethető vissza, ugyanis először nagyon fiatalon azt kellett végignéznie, ahogy édesanyja rákban szépen lassan életét veszti, majd nem sokkal később édesapjánál limfómát állapítottak meg, akit halála előtt majd két évig az akkor 18 éves gimnazista lánynak kell gondoznia. Corint ez után a trauma után, csakis a betegségek és a halál foglalkoztatják. Nem is tanul tovább, helyette egyetlen barátjával Adam-el egy fazekas műhelyt és kerámia boltot nyit. Senkit sem enged magához igazán közel, így először Beckett-et is megpróbálja távol tartani magától. Annak ellenére, hogy a lány milyen betegséggel küzd, egy nagyon pimasz, szarkasztikus és humoros karakter, amely nagyon jó egyensúlyt teremt a könyv stílusában. Beckett pedig szintén egy nagyon jól eltalált szereplő és abszolút book boyfriend alapanyag, aki tényleg pillangókat varázsol a női olvasók mellkasába. 🙂 A könyv vége egy picit klisésére sikerült, de őszintén szólva valószínűleg kevésbé tetszett volna, ha nem pontosan ezt a befejezést kapom. 🙂
Meredith Walterst több könyvében is foglalkozik a mentális betegségek nehéz témájával, és úgy gondolom, hogy ő az az írónő, aki tényleg hitelesen tud írni a sérült lélekről, hiszen mielőtt befutott írónővé vált volna bántalmazott és sérül fiatalok tanácsadójaként dolgozott.
Összességében különleges történetet kaptam, amely ugyan néhol szívszorító volt, de sokszor tudott mosolyt csalni az arcomra és igazán elgondolkoztatott.
My review in English
The author once again dealt with an unusual topic of a mental illness in a professional way. This time, the main character is a hypochondriac, which illness was a little shocking for me. This is a really serious issue, because the patient truly believes that something is wrong, and she/he produces completely authentic symptoms and panic attacks.
This is the case with Corin Thompson, too, who is almost constantly in and out of the doctor’s office. She runs a lot of tests, because she feels that something is really wrong with her and she will die. In the beginning of the story she feels her heart hammering violently in her chest and she thinks that she has a heart attack. Every test comes back normal, but she is convinced that she suffers from a deadly heart condition, so she decides to join to the Mended Hearts support group, where people come together every week who suffer from heart diseases. This is where she meets with Becket Kingsley who is only 28 years old but he already suffered a heart attack because of a previously undetected, genetic heart condition. He was literally dead for a few minutes and after that he had to give up his former life, including sports and hiking. When they meet in the support group they quickly realize that they met before. Beckett helped Corin earlier when she had a panic attack on the street. Corin is so embarrassed about the incident, that she tries to get rid of the guy, but it is too late because this time Beckett already can’t get her out of his mind.
Corin is a really special character. Her hypochondriac illness can clearly be traced back to the death of her parents. She had turned fifteen when her mother was diagnosed with melanoma. Less than a year later her mother died and her father was diagnosed with lymphoma. He had passed away just before she graduated from high school.
After this trauma she thinks about death and illness all the time. She doesn’t attend college, instead she opens her own pottery shop with his only friend, Adam. She doesn’t allow anyone close to her, and firstly she tries to keep his distance with Beckett, too. Despite her mental illness Corin is a really sassy, witty, sarcastic and funny character, which gave a really great balance for the style of the book. Beckett was so perfect character too, and he is the kind of book boyfriend who really gives butterflies for all the women who reads this book. 🙂 The end of the story was a little cliché, but to tell the truth maybe I would be disappointed if it wouldn’t get this kind of ending.
Meredith Walters has more books which also deals with the topic of mental illness. I think she is the author who can truly write about damaged souls in an authentic way, because before becoming a full-time writer, she worked as a counselor for troubled and abused children and teens.
Overall it was a really special story which althought sometimes wrenched my heart, it put a smile on my face many times and it truly made me think.
My Favorite Quotes From the Book
“Stop thinking about your life in increments. Seconds. Minutes. Days. Look at the bigger picture and embrace whatever time you have. Don’t look constantly toward the end. Enjoy the right now.”
“Before I could ask him what he was doing, he was kissing me. Really kissing me. The kind of kisses that made you forget sense and reason. The kind that made you forget where you were. The kind of kiss that you never came back from. Ever.”
“You want to come back to my place?” Beckett suggested.
“Uh . . .” Back to his place?
Wasn’t that code for sex?
Did he want to have sex with me?
Why was I saying the word “sex” so much in my head?
Sex. Sex. Sex.
“I just thought we could watch a movie or something,” Beckett explained.
What I heard was mumble, mumble, sex, mumble.
“Corin. I see the wheels turning in that head of yours. Is there a problem?”
“Do you want to have sex?” I blurted out just as we reached the car. I said it a little too loud, earning me a few stares from strangers walking by.
Beckett sputtered and choked. “Excuse me?”
“Going back to my place is a euphemism right? For sex.”
Now I was saying the word sex out loud. It was like having Tourette’s.
Hey, how are you doing? Sex!
Nice weather we’re having. Sex!
“I wasn’t using it as a euphemism for anything. I promise! I really wanted to know if you’d like to watch a movie with me. Or we can go to a theater so there’s no insinuation.”
“You can have sex in a movie theater too,” I pointed out. Oh my god, when will I learn to shut up?
“Can’t say I’ve had the pleasure. But I’ll take your word for it.”
“I was scared shitless of dying.
So I did the only thing I could do.
Learn how to live all over again.”
“You need to live each day like you won’t get another, Corin. Don’t waste time being miserable.” His voice was so soft. So sure. So full of truth that it rattled around in my head. In my heart.”
“I’ve lost so many people, Beck. You scare me. You scared me. I don’t look at you as the guy who could die. I look at you as the guy who could devastate me.”
“I felt Corin’s tears on my face. Her hands in my hair. I wanted this forever.
But we weren’t so lucky.
We had run out of time.”
“I’m asking you to dance with me.”
“I’m asking you to laugh with me.”
“I’m asking you to love with me, Corin.”
A love that would never die even if the man who owned my heart did. That was the gift Beck had given me. He reminded me what it felt like to be alive . . .
“I’m asking you to live with me.”
“I need someone who can ride the wave with me. No matter what happens.”
“You’re not crazy was so much better than you’re pretty.”
“And it was natural.
Like a heartbeat.
Like a butterfly’s wings.
“Being scared is never an excuse to hide. You should wake up every morning thankful you have another day to enjoy.”
“I’ve always dream in butterflies. Wild. Free. Colourful butterflies. To me they were a real, breathing thing. As real as you or me…And then one day, my once happy butterflies found their way into my waking world. But they weren’t there to protect me…I started to hate my butterflies. They terrified me.”
4.5- Butterfly- Stars
My doorbell rang.
I looked at the clock and realized it was already 7:30.
So that meant it was Beckett on the other side of the door.
I looked down at my half-naked body.
And then I started freaking out.
“I’ll be right there!” I yelled.
Should I let him in?
But I was practically naked!
I couldn’t let him see me like this!
Maybe I should own it. Shake my hips and let him get a look at the goods.
Like that would ever happen.
Crap, what was I going to wear?
I grabbed a pair of jeans from my floor and wiggled them on, not really paying attention to which ones they were.
I reached into my closet and pulled the closest shirt off the rack. I tied my hair into a ponytail and slipped on a comfortable pair of ballet flats.
I hoped Beckett hadn’t planned on five-star dining because I was dressed more for a McDonalds milkshake before hanging with the bowling league.
“Sorry,” I said, out of breath, opening the door and letting Beckett inside.
“I was starting to think I needed to break in and make sure you hadn’t gotten stuck in the toilet or something.” Beckett looked damn near perfect in a dark pair of jeans and button-up blue shirt the same color as his eyes.
He had even gotten a haircut. Way to make me feel like a total underachiever in the getting ready department, buddy.
“Looks like you cut yourself,” I said, indicating the piece of toilet paper stuck to his chin.
“Fuck. I forgot about that,” he muttered, pulling it off, looking embarrassed.
“You should have left it there. It’s cute,” I teased, putting on my black wool coat.
“You ready?” he asked.
“As I’ll ever be.” I gave him a wide smile and he laughed.
“I’m not taking you to your death by firing squad. You could act a bit more excited.”
I jumped up and down, clapping my hands together. “OMG, Beck! I can’t wait!” I gasped.
“Is that better?” I asked, closing my apartment door behind me and locking it.
“Much.” Beckett leaned down and I swear he was checking out my ass.
“Excuse me, but what in the hell are you doing?” I demanded.
“Are you aware that the Cheshire cat is on your right butt cheek?”
I craned my body to get a look at what he was talking about. And sure enough, there was a bright purple patch with the damn Cheshire cat on my derriere.
“I must have picked up the wrong jeans,” I groaned. These were my hanging-out-doing-laundry jeans. Not meant to be seen by anyone but myself and the cat.
“I was in a rush. I couldn’t figure out what to wear. It was stressful,” I tried to explain, pulling my coat down over my feline-covered bum.
“The last thing I want is to stress you out, Cor-Cor.”
I smacked his arm. “I thought I warned you about using that damn nickname,” I threatened.
“I show up with toilet paper stuck to my face and you have a cat on your butt. I think we make a pretty awesome pair,” Beckett snickered, unlocking his car.
About the Author
The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Contemporary and Paranormal romance including The Find You in the Dark and Bad Rep series as well as the upcoming stand alone romance, Reclaiming the Sand, and a dark new adult series for Gallery Books.
A. Meredith spent ten years as a counselor for at risk teens and children. First working at a Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault program and then later a program for children with severe emotional and mental health issues. Her former clients and their stories continue to influence every aspect of her writing.
When not writing (or being tortured with all manner of beauty products at the hand of her very imaginative and extremely girly daughter), she is eating chocolate, watching reality television that could rot your brain and reading a smutty novel or two.
A. Meredith is represented by Michelle Johnson with the Inklings Literary Agency.